January 13, 2010

Breakdown: UW at Northwestern

Wisconsin, after beating then undefeated and No. 4 Purdue, is riding a wave of momentum heading into Evanston to take on Northwestern tonight. And with that game at Welsh-Ryan, the Badgers will be playing for the first time without their dynamic forward Jon Leuer, who is out indefinitely with a broken wrist.

Before today's tip-off, BadgerBlitz.com analyzes the potential matchups between Wisconsin and Northwestern to provide a closer look at an early Big Ten tilt.

Quick Notes:

-Tonight's meeting will be the 167th meeting between Wisconsin and Northwestern in a series that dates back to 1910. UW holds the all-time edge at 105-61, but trails in games played in Evanston 38-36.

-The Badgers have won five of the past six meetings with the Wildcats, but NU won the last time the teams met last January.

-Northwestern's 66-63 win in Welsh-Ryan Arena last winter was the first time in 23 meetings that the losing team scored 60 points or more..

-At home under Bo Ryan in the series, UW averages a win by 19.7 points. In the seven games at NU over the same stretch, no games have been decided by 19 or more points.

Northwestern vs. Wisconsin
Northwestern Wisconsin Players The Word Advantage
Michael Thompson vs. Trevon Hughes, PG One of the reasons Northwestern has had a fair amount of success this season is because of the improved play of Thompson. He is the floor leader without Kevin Coble. However, he can be shut down. Whether that happens or not will be up to Hughes and his defensive pressure. Also, with Leuer out, look for Hughes to pick up the scoring slack. Advantage: Wisconsin
Jeremy Nash vs. Jason Bohannon, SG Bohannon may have had his best game as a Badger last game out against Purdue. He was hitting his open looks from downtown and even aggressively drove to the rim. If he continues to play like that, UW will be in good shape heading deeper into conference play. Advantage: Wisconsin
Drew Crawford vs. Tim Jarmusz SF Crawford is one of the more dynamic freshmen in the entire conference. He averages just over 25 minutes per game and still chips in more than 10 points. As has been a recurring theme, Jarmusz will need to defend Crawford, particularly on the perimeter. Any offense the Badger junior contributes will just be a bonus. Advantage: Northwestern
John Shurna vs. Ryan Evans PF In Coble's absence for the Wildcats, somebody needed to step up and carry the load. So far, that has been Shurna. The junior forward leads the team in scoring and rebounding. Evans, should he get his first start or not, will be matching up with Shurna throughout the contest and he will need to be sharp. Advantage: Northwestern
Luka Mirkovic vs. Keaton Nankivil, C With Leuer sidelined, Nankivil will be one of the key players for the Badgers. Should he become more aggressive and utilize his frame, he could become a force in the second half of the season. If he remains passive, opportunities for him will go by the wayside. Advantage: Wisconsin
Kyle Rowley (pictured), Alex Marcotullio, Mike Capocci, Ivan Peljusic, Davide Curletti vs. Jordan Taylor (pictured), Rob Wilson, Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz, Bench Now that Leuer is out, the play of Taylor will be that much more important for the Badgers. He has proven in recent games that he can be a reliable scorer. Should that continue, one of the leagues better benches will continue on. Look for more contributions from Berggren and Bruesewitz as well. Advantage: Wisconsin
Bill Carmody vs. Bo Ryan, Head coach Ryan has really not had that many problems against Carmody and Northwestern during his tenure. However, it seems as though every time the Badgers head to Evanston, they are in for a strong fight. Tonight won't be any different, but I still give the edge to Ryan considering his past history of success against NU. Advantage: Wisconsin


Wednesday, January, 13 at 7:30 p.m. CT


Evanston, Ill.


Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)


Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris)


Wisconsin Radio Network (Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas)


Wisconsin leads 105-61

Last Meeting

Northwestern won 66-63 at NU on Jan. 31, 2009.


Wisconsin: USA Today: 16, Assoc. Press: 13

Northwestern: USA Today: N/A, Assoc. Press: N/A

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